Bharti Airtel has reopened all its offices though it’s open to staff working from home on health and safety grounds and is also ensuring strict social distancing protocols inside office premises. Reliance Jio though is likely to maintain around 15% staff at major circle offices, and take a call on bringing back more people, post-June 8.
ADIA follows Mubadala, the sister firm of the UAE’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which has already been in negotiations with Reliance Industries that owns Jio Platforms. It is not clear how much each of the funds will invest. Both entities, along with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund, may invest close to $2 billion in RIL’s digital business unit.
The telecom regulator is considering starting an industry-wide discussion on improving speed and reliability of broadband connectivity, as well as strengthening the digital infrastructure, amid a growing remote work culture in wake of the pandemic.
The development follows several notices sent by Airtel, the latest being May 21, demanding Karvy to rectify tax defaults and submit documentary proof of compliance within seven days of issuing the notice, to which Karvy did not respond. ET has seen a copy of the emails.
The telecom regulator on Friday suggested using 11-digit numbers for mobile phones, instead of 10 digits, to ensure adequate numbering resources for user base growth in the future, but advised against migration to a unified numbering system for mobiles and landlines.
Alphabet Inc's Google is said to be eyeing about 5 per cent stake in VIL, the Financial Times had reported on Thursday. Such an investment in VIL will pit the search giant against Facebook which has picked up a stake in Jio Platforms, the firm that houses India's youngest but biggest telecom company - Reliance Jio.
Gear makers such as Nokia and Huawei say wider consultations are needed before finalising the policy as they have already invested millions of dollars and are hoping to put in more money and export from India.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm, India’s top two telcos, have been pushing for an early 4G spectrum sale given the surge in demand for data and voice services, and to buy back airwaves in circles where their permits are expiring next year.
“It may be a better option that any further discussion on the issue (floor tariff) is held after the lockdown is completely lifted and normalcy is restored,” Sharma told ET, virtually ruling out an online open house discussion on the issue, and thus, an early decision on the contentious issue.
BTL’s stake in Bharti Airtel fell to around 36% after the deal. Correspondingly, the combined 58.98% holding of Bharti Airtel’s promoter group – Sunil Mittal-owned entities and Singtel – came down to 56.23%. Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises and Singtel own 50.56% and 49.44%, respectively, in BTL.